Our vision is an Aotearoa where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. Safety improvements in infrastructure will save lives and reduce the number of people seriously injured on Aotearoa New Zealand’s roads and streets. Our work in infrastructure improvements is underpinned by the internationally proven Safe System approach, which acknowledges that as humans, we all make mistakes – but these mistakes do not need to cost us our lives.
Between 2010 and mid 2022 three people were killed, 33 people were seriously injured and several have sustained minor injuries whilst travelling along State Highway 16 within the project area. Almost a third of these crashes between 2020 to present, were caused by drivers losing control and running off the road or crossing the centreline and hitting an oncoming vehicle. This makes it a high risk road that would benefit from safety improvements.
This road is an important link for the local community, as well as providing resilience within the wider Upper North Island state highway network. Over 36,000 vehicles a day use the route between Brigham Creek and Kumeū, and over 15,000 vehicles are travelling between Huapai and Waimauku each day. Residential and business growth has increased and will continue to do so as the North West develops. This increases vehicle numbers and puts pressure on our network.
The project has been split into two stages. Stage one runs from Huapai to Waimauku and Stage two is between the Brigham Creek roundabout and Kumeū. We started on the section between Huapai and Waimauku where there are slightly less complexities and where half of the crashes were head-on. Work will start on this section while we continue to confirm aspects of the scoping, funding and design for Stage two.
To make SH16 safer, we’re looking at making a number of improvements:
Stage one (Huapai to Waimauku):
- Installing flexible road safety barriers to catch drivers who leave their lane before hitting something harder like trees, poles, ditches or other vehicles.
- Installing four turnaround bays to enable safe turning movements along the corridor.
- Widening bridges that are too narrow.
- Creating a wider road shoulder so there’s more space for people who cycle.
Stage two (Brigham Creek to Kumeū):
- Between Brigham Creek and Kumeū we are creating a dedicated shared path for people who walk and cycle to provide genuine travel choice.
- Installing flexible road safety barriers to catch drivers who leave their lane before hitting something harder like trees, poles, ditches or other vehicles, except between Taupaki and Kumeū.
- Adding extra lanes between Brigham Creek and Taupaki roundabout from two lanes to four (two in each direction) to make travelling along SH16 more efficient in the short-term.
- Installing a flush median between Taupaki and Kumeū, which is a painted area in the middle of the road to give you more room and a safe place to wait before turning, while traffic can continue to flow.
- Putting in a roundabout at the SH16/Coatesville Riverhead Highway intersection to help traffic flow better and make it safer to turn.
Flexible road safety barriers and turnaround bays
The focus of this project is to improve safety in the area which will improve the wider transport network’s efficiency. Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are investigating plans for the longer-term to address future growth, including in Auckland’s North West.
More about these long term plans(external link)